Sexual health is important for a man's well-being so why is talking about it taboo?
That's because there are so many misconceptions when talking about it! Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you what it's not. Male sexual health is not an embarrassing admittance used to shame the awesome men we know. It is not about how bad men are in bed and it is not about any man being less of a man.
Now that, that's settled, let's dive in.
Sexual health can be described as a state of physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social well-being that allows you to fully participate in and enjoy sexual activity.
We often limit sexual health to preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections or erectile dysfunction, and other problems. These are called sexual health concerns and are not the definition of sexual health. For some men, worries about penis size top the list of their sexual health concerns. I have a secret to tell you: you're probably more normal than you think. In the same breath, let me add that there are likely to be other factors that are affecting your sexual health other than penile size issues.
Optimal male sexual health includes sexual desire (libido) and the ability to get and sustain an erection (erectile function). Physiology can affect both the desire for sex and the ability to have sex. Your mental health and emotions also play important roles. Yes, someone had to say it. Stress, depression, relationship issues, abnormally low testosterone, damage from urological surgery, and even cholesterol-clogged arteries can all result in Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
ED is the inability to get an erection or to maintain it long enough for satisfying sexual activity. The sudden appearance of ED in your sex life is one of the biggest signs of underlying issues, such as heart disease. The good thing about ED is that it can be treated using Holistic Care,
Men can also experience penis health issues which include the ability to urinate comfortably, getting or maintaining an erection, fertility, difficulties related to ejaculation (including premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, or the inability to experience orgasm upon ejaculation or anorgasmia). Penis health also includes avoiding certain health conditions, such as penile cancer and STIs.
The following factors can affect the health of your penis:
Hormonal imbalances, such as a low testosterone level can cause erectile dysfunction. Low testosterone levels can be caused by a number of different factors like age.
High blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and certain neurological conditions can cause sexual dysfunction. Psychological conditions like anxiety and depression can also exacerbate ED.
As you age, you’re more likely to experience sexual dysfunctions due to age-related issues like the natural decline of your testosterone levels.
If you want to have sex without a condom, ensure that both you and your partners are tested regularly for STIs, or remain in a monogamous relationship with someone free of STIs. STI's greatly affect your penis and mental health as well. Correctly using a condom every time you have sex is the only way to reduce your risk.
Rough sex can also harm your penis. For example, pulling back the foreskin abruptly can tear it. Accidentally bending your erect penis can cause a traumatic penis fracture.
Some forms of medication can increase your chances of sexual dysfunction. Speak to a doctor or other healthcare provider if you think your medication is causing sexual dysfunction.
Practicing good hygiene is essential for your health. Wash your penis and groin area often to keep it clean.
Poor hygiene can cause a build-up of smegma, an oily, malodorous, and irritating substance that is known to occur below the foreskin.
If smegma builds up, it can cause inflammation to the adjacent skin. This can be uncomfortable and can be because of balanitis, a condition where the head of the penis becomes red and inflamed. Even with a circumcised penis, less than ideal hygiene can lead to penile irritation and inflammation, including balanitis.
One of the most common causes of sexual dysfunction in men is stress. This can lead to a lack of interest in sexual intercourse and cause misunderstandings between partners Indulging in sexual activity helps to create and nurture a healthy bond. It is an integral part of every relationship.
Tips to stay healthy
Penis health needs a holistic approach. In other words, taking care of all aspects of your general health is important for the health of your penis. This is especially important since a range of different health conditions can affect your fertility and penile health.
Hydration is important for your overall health, as well as the health of your penis. There might be a link between dehydration and ED, so try to get about two liters of water a day.
Get regular exercise
Moderate physical activity can reduce your chances of ED.
One 2015 study looked at people with ED and a recent myocardial infarction *commonly referred to as a heart attack). It found that a home-based walking program can reduce ED.
Try exercising at least a few times a week — even a brisk walk every so often can improve your penile health.
Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet is key in helping you reduce your chances of developing diabetes and heart disease, both of which can cause ED.
In one 2016 study, researchers found that the subjects who regularly consumed flavonoids were less likely to develop ED.
Certain foods may also boost your testosterone levels and improve your fertility. For example:
spicy foods with capsaicin
Practice pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises are often associated with vaginal health, but they can be helpful for everyone.
These exercises can improve your ability to get and maintain an erection, as well as prevent dribble after urination.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your chances of diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease, all of which affect your penile health.
Practice stress management
Practicing stress management is great for your overall health and the health of your penis.
Stress and anxiety can affect your sexual performance and fertility. Stress also increases your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, which can lead to ED.
Stress management techniques include:
spending time with loved ones
Practice sleep hygiene
Sleep is important for your vascular health, which affects your ability to become erect.
There seems to be a link between obstructive sleep apnea and ED, possibly because sleep deprivation can lead to low testosterone and other hormonal imbalances.
Smoking cigarettes is strongly associated with ED.
A 2013 study showed that this possibly is because smoking disrupts your heart’s autonomic function, which in turn leads to ED.
Smoking can also decrease your fertility.
Sexual Health is a part of Holistic Wellness. Don't just talk about it, be about it. See your local Holistic Care Practioner for a check-up and recommendations.
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